Marriages require regular tune-ups and maintenance to keep them from falling apart. "Marriage takes a commitment that goes beyond romantic idealism. It’s not a matter of just 'doing what comes naturally,' but teaching people the necessary skills," explain professors Jack and Judith Balswick in their article for Baylor University, "Marriage Enrichment Program Evaluation." Whether you're looking to save your problematic marriage or want to re-invigorate your relationship, marriage retreats allow you to escape the chaos of everyday life and focus completely on each other.
Destination retreats allow you to escape everyday life and enjoy a change of scenery together. From the rugged scenery of the Rocky Mountains to the peacefulness of a secluded beach, most destinations are romantic, exotic and conducive to having a good time together. Most of these retreats offer scheduled activities while allowing you to explore the destination together. These retreats are especially beneficial for couples that have children, allowing them to spend much-needed quality time together.
Marriage Boot Camps
Just like the boot camp classes at your local gym, marriage boot camps are intense and very physical. These workshops allow you and your partner to work out anger, resentment or frustration through physical activities to achieve "emotional fitness." The program allows opportunities for couples to openly express their feelings to each other through physical activities, such as a foam roller fights or hitting a punching bag to release anger. Marriage boot camps involve 20-30 hours dedicated solely to working out issues in your relationship.
If you're looking for a retreat where you will have more than enough time to talk to your spouse, counseling retreats are probably your best bet. Most are held at centers in which a licensed counselor will meet you on a daily basis to discuss the issues in your relationship. Counseling retreats are different from couples counseling because in two to three days you are able to make the same progress that would take weeks in regular therapy. In this type of retreat, the background and root causes of your marriage problems are discussed. Focus is also placed on the individual emotional factors that can play into these issues.
If you're on the adventurous side, go with a retreat that will get your adrenaline pumping. You can choose between rock climbing, hiking, yoga or extreme sports. Rope courses are challenging team-building activities that build trust, empowerment and communication. Many are available even if you can only commit a day or a few hours to work on your marriage.